DeSantis Signs Multiple Bills Blocking Private Vaccine Mandates
An increasingly defiant Governor Ron DeSantis has recently signed multiple bills limiting the ability of employers in the state to force vaccines on their workers. Speaking from Brandon (coincidence?), Florida, DeSantis said this is the “strongest pro-freedom, anti-action taken by any state.”
The four bills were passed through the Florida state legislature in a special session on Nov. 17. They made it illegal for a private employer to impose a vaccine mandate without providing medical or religious exemptions and options for weekly testing.
During the signing, DeSantis rallied against local governments who have tried to impose their own COVID restrictions.
“I told Floridians that we would protect their jobs, and today, we made that the law,” DeSantis said.
“Now, some people say, ‘hey, these local governments wanted to lock down businesses, they wanted to force mandates, they wanted to keep the kids locked out of school.’ You’re damn right I overruled them in that because they were wrong,” DeSantis announced.
In the meantime, Florida is part of an ongoing lawsuit against the Biden administration over its OSHA vaccine mandate, which has been put on hold pending the ongoing litigation.
“Florida is leading, this is the strongest piece of legislation that’s been enacted anywhere in the country in this regard,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis laughed when asked by a reporter if the bill signing being held in Brandon was a reference to the chants of “Let’s go Brandon” that have become a coded stand-in for “F—- Joe Biden” among conservatives.
“I think that Brandon, Florida is a great American city,” DeSantis said, as some in the crowd of about 250 supporters chanted, “Let’s go, Brandon.”
DeSantis, a Republican, called the special legislative session on vaccine mandates as he waged a legal and media campaign against vaccine mandates pushed by Biden.
The vote Wednesday night capped a short session in which Republicans were all but certain to pass the bills. One measure prevents private businesses from having vaccine mandates unless they allow workers to opt-out for medical reasons, religious beliefs, immunity based on a previous infection, regular testing, or an agreement to wear protective gear. The state health department, which is led by Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, who opposes mandates, will be tasked with defining standards for the exemptions.
DeSantis has said that the bills are necessary to ensure that people are not fired over vaccinations.
“No nurse, no firefighter, no police officer, no trucker, no anybody should lose their job because of these Covid jabs,” DeSantis said.